Rare Entries Contest MSB48 begins

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Mark Brader

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Dec 2, 2005, 6:42:59 AM12/2/05
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This is another Rare Entries contest in the MSB series.

As always, reply ONLY BY EMAIL to m...@vex.net; do not post to any
newsgroup. Entries must reach here by Thursday, December 22, 2005
(by Toronto time, zone -5). See below the questions for a detailed
explanation. NOTE that rules 4.1.2 and 4.3.2 have been amended
since last time; the changes are marked *** below.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
0. Pick one: heads or tails.

1. Name a country that, according to the current CIA World Factbook
<http://www.odci.gov/cia/publications/factbook/index.html>, is
divided into more than 35 states or provinces as defined in
(the revised) rule 4.1.2.

2. Name one of the 13 ranks in the standard deck of playing
cards used for games such as bridge.

3. Some organizations have names containing a two-word phrase
where one word specifies a color and the other a shape (either a
geometrical term or a term commonly used for a stylized shape).
Name a color/shape combination currently used in this way.

4. Give an English word of one syllable that names a color.

5. Name a person who at the age of 50 was playing professionally
on a regular basis in some team sport in a league with a high
standard of competition. (Events limited to players over 40,
say, would not qualify as a high standard of competition.)

6. Name a country some of whose de facto land territory is also
claimed by another country. Note that rule 4.1.1 applies
to both countries; this question is about border disputes,
not separatism.

7. Name a person who was assassinated during the 19th century
and, at the time, was the head of state or head of government
of a country.

8. Name a unit of measurement which has been routinely used to
express barometric pressure readings (of the atmosphere on
this planet) either to the general public or to meteorologists.

9. Give a single word used in English as a noun to designate
a type of gun (in the sense of a handheld firearm). "Type"
does not include brand names, numbers, or any forms derived
from these.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

* 1. The Game

As usual, for each of the questions above, your objective is to give
an answer that (1) is correct, and (2) will be duplicated by as FEW
other people as possible. Feel free to use any reference material
you like to RESEARCH your answers; but when you have found enough
possible answers for your liking, you are expected to choose on your
own which one to submit, WITHOUT mechanical or computer assistance:
this is meant to be a game of wits.


* 2. Scoring

The scores on the different questions are MULTIPLIED to produce a
final score for each entrant. Low score wins; a perfect score is 1.

If your answer on a category is correct, then your score is the number
of people who gave that answer, or an answer I consider equivalent.

A wrong answer, or a skipped question, gets a high score as a penalty.
This is the median of:
- the number of entrants
- the square root of that number, rounded up to an integer
- double the largest number of entrants giving the same answer
(right or wrong) as each other on the question

* 2.1 Scoring Example

Say I ask for a color on the current Canadian flag. There are
27 entrants -- 20 say "red", 4 say "blue", and 1 each say "gules",
"white", and "white square". After looking up gules I decide it's
the same color as red and should be treated as a duplicate answer;
then the 21 people who said either "red" or "gules" get 21 points
each. The person who said "white" gets a perfect score of 1 point.
"White square" is not a color and blue is not a color on the flag;
the 5 people who gave either of these answers each get the same
penalty score, which is the median of:
- number of entrants = 27
- sqrt(27) = 5.196+, rounded up = 6
- double the most popular answer's count = 21 x 2 = 42
or in this case, 27.

* 2.2 More Specific Variants

On some questions it's possible that one entrant will give an answer
that's a more specific variant of an answer given by someone else.
In that case the more specific variant will usually be scored as if
the two answers are different, but the other, less specific variant
will be scored as if they are the same.

In the above example, if I had decided (wrongly) to score gules as a
more specific variant of red, then "red" would still score 21, but
"gules" would now score 1.

However, this rule will NOT apply if the question asks for an answer
"in general terms"; a more specific answer will then at best be treated
the same as the more general one, and may be considered wrong.


* 3. Entries

Entries must be emailed to the address given above. Please do not
quote the questions back to me, and do send only plain text in ASCII
or ISO 8859-1: no HTML, attachments, Micros--t character sets, etc.
(Entrants who fail to comply will be publicly chastised in the results
posting.)

Your message should preferably consist of just your 10 answers,
numbered from 0 to 9, along with any explanations required. Your
name should be in it somewhere -- a From: line or signature is fine.
(If I don't see both a first and a last name, or an explicit request
for a particular form of your name to be used, then your email address
will be posted in the results).

You can expect an acknowledgement when I read your entry. If this
bounces, it won't be sent again.

* 3.1 Where Leeway is Allowed

In general there is no penalty for errors of spelling, capitalization,
English usage, or other such matters of form, nor for accidentally
sending email in an unfinished state, so long as it's clear enough
what you intended. Sometimes a specific question may imply stricter
rules, though. And if you give an answer that properly refers to a
different thing related to the one you intended, I will normally take
it as written.

Once you intentionally submit an answer, no changes will be allowed,
unless I decide there was a problem with the question. Similarly,
alternate answers within an entry will not be accepted. Only the
first answer that you intentionally submit counts.

* 3.2 Clarifications

Questions are not intended to be hard to understand, but I may fail
in this intent. (For one thing, in many cases clarity could only be
provided by an example which would suggest one or another specific
answer, and I mustn't do that.)

In order to be fair to all entrants, I must insist that requests for
clarification must be emailed to me, NOT POSTED in any newsgroup.
But if you do ask for clarification, I'll probably say that the
question is clear enough as posted. If I do decide to clarify or
change a question, all entrants will be informed.

* 3.3 Supporting Information

It is your option whether or not to provide supporting information
to justify your answers. If you don't, I'll email you to ask for
it if I need to. If you supply it in the form of a URL, if at all
possible it should be a "deep link" to the specific relevant page.
There is no need to supply URLs for obvious, well-known reference
web sites, and there is no point in supplying URLs for pages that
don't actually support your answer.

If you provide any explanatory remarks along with your answers, you
are responsible for making it sufficiently clear that they are not
part of the answers. The particular format doesn't matter as long
as you're clear. In the scoring example above, "white square" was
wrong; "white (in the central square)" would have been taken as a
correct answer with an explanation.


* 4. Interpretation of questions

These are general rules that apply unless a question specifically
states otherwise.

* 4.1 Geography
* 4.1.1 Countries

"Country" means an independent country. Whether or not a place is
considered an independent country is determined by how it is listed
in reference sources.

For purposes of these contests, the Earth is considered to be divid-
ed into disjoint areas each of which is either (1) a country, (2) a
dependency, or (3) without national government. Their boundaries
are interpreted on a de facto basis. Any place with representatives
in a country's legislature is considered a part of that country rather
than a dependency of it.

The European Union is considered as an association of countries, not
a country itself.

Claims that are not enforced, or not generally recognized, don't count.
Places currently fighting a war of secession don't count. Embassies
don't count as special; they may have extraterritorial rights, but
they're still part of the host country (and city).

Countries existing at different historical times are normally
considered the same country if they have the same capital city.

* 4.1.2 States or provinces

Many countries or dependencies are divided into subsidiary political
entities, typically with their own subsidiary governments. At the
first level of division, these entities are most commonly called
states or provinces, but various other names are used; ***sometimes
(perhaps to indicate unequal political status) the name used varies
from one to another division of the same country***. (New clarification.)

Any reference to "states or provinces" in a question refers to
these entities at the first level of division, no matter what they
are called.

* 4.1.3 Distances

Distances between places on the Earth are measured along a great
circle path, and distance involving cities are based on the city
center (downtown).

* 4.2 Entertainment

A "movie" does not include any form of TV broadcast or video release;
it must have been shown in cinemas. "Oscar" and "Academy Award" are
AMPAS trademarks and refer to the awards given by that organization.
"Fiction" includes dramatizations of true stories.

* 4.3 Words and Numbers
* 4.3.1 Different Answers

Some questions specifically ask for a *word*, rather than the thing
that it names; this means that different words with the same meaning
will in general be treated as distinct answers. However, if two or
more inflectional variants, spelling variants, or other closely
related forms are correct answers, they will be treated as equivalent.

Similarly, if the question specifically asks for a name, different
things referred to by the same name will be treated as the same.

* 4.3.2 Permitted Words

The word that you give must be listed (or implied by a listing,
as with inflected forms) in a suitable dictionary. Generally
this means a printed dictionary published recently enough
to show reasonably current usage, or its online equivalent.
Other reasonably authoritative sources may be accepted on a
case-by-case basis. Words listed as obsolete or archaic usage
don't count, ***and sources that would list those words without
distinguishing them are not acceptable as dictionaries.*** (New.)

* 4.3.3 Permitted Numbers

Where the distinction is important, "number" refers to a specific
mathematical value, whereas "numeral" means a way of writing it.
Thus "4", "IV", and "four" are three different numerals representing
the same number. "Digit" means one of the characters "0", "1", "2",
etc. (These definitions represent one of several conflicting common
usages.)

* 4.3.4 "Contained in"

If a question asks for a word or numeral "contained" or "included"
in a phrase, title, or the like, this does not include substrings or
alternate meanings of words, unless explictly specified. For example,
if "Canada in 1967" is the title of a book, it contains the numeral
1967 and the preposition "in"; but it does not contain the word "an",
the adjective "in", or the numeral 96.

* 4.4 Tense and Time

When a question is worded in the present tense, the correctness of
your answer is determined by the facts at the moment you submit it.
(In a case where, in my judgement, people might reasonably be unaware
of the facts having changed, an out-of-date answer may be accepted as
correct.) Questions worded in the present perfect tense include the
present unless something states or implies otherwise. (For example,
Canada is a country that "has existed", as well as one that "exists".)
Different verbs in a sentence bear their usual tense relationship to
each other.

You are not allowed to change the facts yourself in order to make an
answer correct. For example, if a question asks for material on the
WWW, what you cite must already have existed before the contest was
first posted.


* 5. Judging

As moderator, I will be the sole judge of what answers are correct,
and whether two answers with similar meaning (like red and gules)
are considered the same, different, or more/less specific variants.

I will do my best to be fair on all such issues, but sometimes it is
necessary to be arbitrary. Those who disagree with my rulings are
welcome to complain (or to start a competing contest, or whatever).

I may rescore the contest if I agree that I made a serious error and
it affects the high finishers.


* 6. Results

Results will normally be posted within a few days of the contest
closing. They may be delayed if I'm unexpectedly busy or for
technical reasons. If I feel I need help evaluating one or more
answers, I may make a consultative posting in the newsgroups before
scoring the contest.

In the results posting, all entrants will be listed in order of score,
but high (bad) scores may be omitted. The top few entrants' full
answer slates will be posted. A table of answers and their scores
will be given for each question.


* 7. Fun

This contest is for fun. Please do have fun, and good luck to all.
--
Mark Brader, Toronto | "...and if sooner or later your revels must be ended,
m...@vex.net | well, at least you reveled." --Roger Ebert

My text in this article is in the public domain.

Mark Brader

unread,
Dec 11, 2005, 2:12:32 PM12/11/05
to
This is the first of two reminders of the current Rare Entries contest.
Everything below this point is identical to the original posting.

Mark Brader

unread,
Dec 18, 2005, 10:33:08 PM12/18/05
to
This is second and last reminder of the current Rare Entries contest.

Mark Brader

unread,
Dec 24, 2005, 4:34:26 AM12/24/05
to
Once again, I wrote:
| As usual, for each of the items above, your objective is to give a
| response that (1) is correct, and (2) will be duplicated by as FEW
| other people as possible. Feel free to use any reference material ...

This time there was a disappointing field of 29 entries, and the winner
once again was EUGENE VAN DER PIJLL. Close behind him and tied for
second place were Dan Tilque and Martin Smith. Congratulations to all!

These are their slates of answers (some abbreviated). As always, you
should be reading this in a monospaced font for proper tabular alignment.

EUGENE VAN DER PIJLL DAN TILQUE MARTIN SMITH
[0] Heads Tails Tails
[1] Romania Burkina Faso Japan
[2] 9 4 5
[3] Orange square Green star Green star
[4] Buff Lake Cream
[5] Willie Quaife Jay Haas Bert Ironmonger
[6] Argentina Viet Nam Chile
[7] bin Abdullah Barrios Moreno
[8] mm Hg hPa in Hg
[9] Musketoon Muzzleloader Handgun

| For my convenience please do not quote this message when responding.
| Mail only your answers, and these in plain ASCII or ISO 8859-1 text:
| no HTML, Micros--t character sets, etc. (People who fail to comply
| will be chastised in the results posting.)

Steve Perry, Tim Roberts, Duncan Booth, Joe Strickland, Jennifer
Robbins-Mullin, Pete Fuller, and arguably Phil Carmody are chastisd.

To review the scoring:

| Low score wins; a perfect score is 1.
|
| If your answer on a category is correct, then your score is the number

| of people who gave that answer or an answer I consider equivalent. If
| wrong, or if you skip the question, you get a high score as a penalty.
| The scores on the different questions are *multiplied* to produce a
| final score. ... It is also possible that I may consider one answer
| to be a more specific variant of another: in that case it will be
| scored as if they are different, but the other, less specific variant


| will be scored as if they are the same.

See the questions posting for the penalty score formula.


Here is the complete table of scores.

RANK SCORE ENTRANT Q0 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q5 Q6 Q7 Q8 Q9

1. 1188 Eugene van der Pijll 22 3 6 1 1 1 1 1 3 1
2. 1728 Dan Tilque 6 2 2 3 1 1 1 4 6 1
=2. 1728 Martin Smith 6 4 3 3 1 2 2 1 2 1
4. 9504 Clay Blankenship 22 1 3 WR 1 1 WR 1 3 1
5. 10560 Glen Prideaux 22 3 2 1 1 1 1 4 4 5
6. 11136 Chris Spagnoli WR 2 3 1 1 1 WR 2 4 1
7. 14784 John Gerson 22 2 1 1 1 WR 1 2 4 3
8. 33264 Nick Selwyn 22 2 4 1 3 7 1 1 9 1
9. 89100 Bill Daly 22 3 3 1 5 1 1 2 9 5
10. 95040 Duncan Booth 22 3 1 1 2 2 2 2 WR 5
11. 124416 Josh Button 6 4 6 WR 1 1 4 1 9 4
12. 171072 Pomms 22 3 3 2 3 1 WR 1 WR 1
13. 199584 Tim Roberts 22 3 3 2 2 WR 1 1 6 3
14. 322560 John Kemeny 6 1 6 1 1 7 WR 4 4 WR
15. 356400 Joe Strickland 22 1 3 2 3 1 2 WR 9 5
16. 475200 Steve Perry 22 1 2 2 3 1 2 5 WR WR
17. 534600 Dave Zahn 22 3 3 3 3 3 1 WR 2 5
18. 748440 Lejonel Norling 22 3 6 1 3 7 1 3 6 5
19. 887040 Ted Schuerzinger 22 3 4 1 5 WR 2 1 6 4
20. 924000 Haran Pilpel 22 1 2 1 5 WR 1 WR 6 5
David Breton 22 1 6 2 1 3 WR 3 WR 3
Pete Fuller 22 3 6 1 1 7 1 WR 9 5
Don Del Grande 22 3 3 1 2 7 4 5 9 4
Ara...@bahwancybertek.com 6 WR 1 1 2 WR 4 WR 9 WR
Kevin Stone 22 3 4 1 3 WR WR 5 3 4
Joshua Kreitzer 22 4 3 2 3 7 4 4 6 5
Julie Waters 22 4 4 2 3 7 2 3 9 WR
Jennifer Robbins-Mullin 6 WR 3 2 5 3 WR 5 9 WR
Phil Carmody 22 1 3 WR 5 WR WR 5 WR 5

Scores of 1,000,000 or worse are not shown.


Here is the complete list of answers given. Each list shows correct
answers in the order worst to best (most to least popular). The
notation ">>>" means that "more specific variant" scoring was used.


I'm going to keep the commentary short this time, as I still have to
wrap a bunch of Christmas presents. I'm also declaring that all scores
are final unless I have made a really egregious error.


| 0. Pick one: heads or tails.

22 Heads
6 Tails
WRONG:
1 Or

And if you think that's impressive, at one point during the contest
period the tally was 12-1 in favor of heads. The smartass answer is
ruled out by the punctuation of the question.


| 1. Name a country that, according to the current CIA World Factbook
| <http://www.odci.gov/cia/publications/factbook/index.html>, is
| divided into more than 35 states or provinces as defined in

| rule 4.1.2.

4 Japan (47)
3 Algeria (48)
3 Romania (42)
3 Thailand (76)
3 United States (51)
2 Burkina Faso (45)
2 Viet Nam (64)
1 Greece (52)
1 Macedonia (85)
1 Nigeria (37)
1 Philippines (195)
1 Russia (89)
1 Turkey (81)
1 United Kingdom (4 or 235, see below)
WRONG:
1 India (35)
1 Mexico (32)

For every other country, the CIAWF says things like "50 states and 1 district".
For the UK, it gives separate lists for the four constituent countries
of the UK. It should be obvious that the four countries are the "states
or provinces" as defined for this contests, but the way the CIAWF listing
is worded, I thought I had to accept the UK as an answer.

Azerbaijan, Hungary, Moldova, Slovenia, and Uganda are the other possible
correct answers.


| 2. Name one of the 13 ranks in the standard deck of playing
| cards used for games such as bridge.

6 9
4 Jack [= Knave]
3 2
3 5
3 Ace
3 King
2 3 [= Trey]
2 4
1 10
1 7
1 8

People did like the 9. The 6 and queen were not named at all.


| 3. Some organizations have names containing a two-word phrase
| where one word specifies a color and the other a shape (either a
| geometrical term or a term commonly used for a stylized shape).
| Name a color/shape combination currently used in this way.

3 Green star
2 Blue shield
2 Green cross
2 Pink triangle
2 Red cross
1 Black star
1 Blue circle
1 Blue hexagon
1 Blue square
1 Blue star
1 Blue triangle
1 Orange square
1 Purple triangle
1 Red crescent
1 Red diamond
1 Red star
1 Red swastika
1 Yellow circle
1 Yellow crescent
1 Yellow cross
WRONG:
1 Blue Circle Transport
1 Blue stars ("stars" does not name a shape)
1 The Golden Triangle Organization

It would be hard to imagine a combination of a color and common shape
that is *not* a correct answer, since "organization" could include a
local business or group anywhere. The only way to go badly wrong here
was to give a wrong answer.


| 4. Give an English word of one syllable that names a color.

5 Taupe
3 Beige
3 Mauve
3 Pink
2 Red
2 Teal
1 Bay
1 Bisque
1 Brown
1 Buff
1 Cream
1 Dawn
1 Gules
1 Lake
1 Plum
1 Puce
1 Tan

One entrant said they were picking taupe "because for some reason it
is not included in Wikipedia's list of colors." And you can see how
well that worked out...


| 5. Name a person who at the age of 50 was playing professionally
| on a regular basis in some team sport in a league with a high
| standard of competition. (Events limited to players over 40,
| say, would not qualify as a high standard of competition.)

7 Gordie Howe (1978, WHA hockey, New England Whalers)
3 Leroy "Satchel" Paige (1956, IL baseball, Miami Marlins)
2 Bert Ironmonger (1932, Australian/international cricket)
1 Briggs Cunningham (1957, various car racing, own team)
1 Frank Woolley (1937, English cricket)
1 Jay Haas (2004, Ryder Cup golf)
1 Joe "Jellybean" Bryant (2005, ABA basketball, Boston Frenzy)
1 Manny Burgsmuller (2000, NFL Europe football, Rhein Fire)
1 Mary-Anne Canute (2001, Australian lawn bowling)
1 Morgan Shepherd (1992, NASCAR car racing, Victory in Jesus)
1 Sam Snead (1962, Canada Cup golf, US team)
1 Saturnino "Minnie" Miñoso (1973, Mexican League baseball)
1 Willie Quaife (1922, English cricket)
WRONG:
3 W.G. Grace (1898, English/international cricket) (not
professional)
1 (no answer)
1 Gordon Wallace (1994, Scottish soccer, Dundee United) (not
on regular basis)
1 Oswald Jacoby (1953, bridge) (not a sport)
1 Sócrates de Oliveira (2004, NCEL soccer) (not high standard)

I hate sports questions.

I decided that "a high standard" in the context of North American
sports included major leagues and those one step down, like AAA minor
league baseball; and I tried to use analogous rulings for other sports.
I'm not sure about the standard of play in the (new) ABA, but I gave
the entrant the benefit of the doubt.

I decided that "regularly" included anyone who played several games
or, of sports with tournaments rather than the sort of schedule seen
in hockey or baseball, a single multi-day event.

I decided that Grace was an amateur even though he apparently earned
more money from his cricketing than from his doctoring, because the
amateur/professional distinction in English cricket was a big deal and
it made sense to treat the terms as people would have done then. For
the Australians I was unable to determine if they were professionals,
so I gave the entrants the benefit of the doubt.

I decided that while car racing is not really a team sport, I needed
to have ruled it out in the question in order to disallow it. On the
other hand, the claim that bridge is a sport is just ridiculous.

I was not surprised to see the most popular answer.


| 6. Name a country some of whose de facto land territory is also
| claimed by another country. Note that rule 4.1.1 applies
| to both countries; this question is about border disputes,
| not separatism.

4 India (by Pakistan: Kashmir)
2 Belize (by Guatemala)
2 Chile (by Argentina and UK: Antarctic base)
2 Russia (by Japan: Kurile Is.)
1 Algeria (by Libya)
1 Argentina (by Chile and UK: Antarctic bases)
1 China (by India: Aksai Chin etc.)
1 Guyana (by Venezuela: western Guyana)
1 Iran (by UAE: Tunb Is.)
1 Malaysia (by Brunei: Limbang)
1 Niger (by Libya)
1 Philippines (by China etc.: Spratly Is.)
1 Singapore (by Malaysia: Pedra Branca I.)
1 Taiwan (by China: Taiwan)
1 Viet Nam (by China etc.: Spratly Is.)
WRONG:
1 Armenia (Azerbaijan claim is against Nagorno-Karabakh, which
is de facto independent)
1 Azerbaijan (Nagorno-Karabakh claims independence but is
not recognized)
1 Brunei (claimant against Malaysia: Limbang)
1 Eritrea (claimant against Ethiopia: Badme)
1 Kashmir (asked for country, not disputed region)
1 Latvia (was claimant against Russia)
1 United Kingdom (all disputes involve its dependencies or
maritime claims)
1 United States (claim by Marshall Is. is against dependency:
Wake I.)

I decided that the wording "territory" rather than "territories"
meant that dependencies of the claimed-against countries did not
count, thus making the US and UK wrong. The Chilean and Argentinian
claimed Antarctic territories are considered as part of the respective
countries, but the British one is considered a dependency, hence the
asymmetric treatment of those answers.

In some cases it was much easier to find out that a dispute existed
than whether the disputed area was de facto part of one country or the
other or neither, but I did the best I could, although this involved a
good deal of tedious reading of irrelevant facts and arguments.


| 7. Name a person who was assassinated during the 19th century
| and, at the time, was the head of state or head of government
| of a country.

5 Abraham Lincoln (1865-04-15, USA, shot)
4 José Barrios (1898-02-08, Guatemala, shot)
3 Czar Alexander II (1881-03-01 OS, Russia, bombing)
2 Czar Paul I (1801-03-12 OS, Russia, beaten)
2 Sadi Carnot (1894-06-25, France, stabbed)
1 Gabriel Moreno (1875-08-06, Ecuador, macheted and shot)
1 Ioannis Capodistrias (1831-09-27 OS, Greece, shot and stabbed)
1 Nasser-al-Din Shah (1896-05-01, Persia, shot)
1 Pellegrino Rossi (1848-09-15, Papal States, stabbed)
1 Shah Shuja (1842-04-05, Afghanistan)
1 Spencer Perceval (1812-05-11, UK, shot)
1 Turki bin Abdullah (1834-05-10, Saudi state)
1 Ulises Heureaux (1899-07-26, Dominican Rep., shot)
WRONG:
2 Mariano Melgarejo (Bolivia) (president until 1871-01-15, killed
1871-11-23)
1 Carlos Castillo Armas (Guatamala, shot) (1957-07-26)
1 Paul Doumer (France, shot) (1932-05-06)
1 Yitzhak Rabin (Israel, shot) (1995-11-14)

For a large part of the field, Abraham Lincoln was the obvious answer.
I'm surprised at the number of entrants who went to Guatemala, though.

I have shown the manner of killing where I was able to find it out,
just for interest.


| 8. Name a unit of measurement which has been routinely used to
| express barometric pressure readings (of the atmosphere on
| this planet) either to the general public or to meteorologists.

9 Millibar
6 Hectopascal
4 Kilopascal
3 Millimeter of mercury
2 Inch of mercury [= Inch]
WRONG:
1 Atmosphere
1 Bar
1 Centimeter of mercury
1 Inch of water
1 Pascal

All five of the wrong answers are certainly pressure units and can be
found in textbooks or in pressure measurements in other contexts, but
none of the entrants was able to cite evidence that they were used
in the specific context I asked for.

The two most popular answers are equivalent to each other, but I decided
that they still were different "units" and should count as different
answers.


| 9. Give a single word used in English as a noun to designate
| a type of gun (in the sense of a handheld firearm). "Type"
| does not include brand names, numbers, or any forms derived
| from these.

5 Blunderbuss
5 Carbine
4 Musket
3 Revolver
1 Flintlock
1 Handgun
1 Matchlock
1 Musketoon
1 Muzzleloader
1 Repeater
1 Shotgun
WRONG:
1 (no answer)
1 Cannon (not a type)
1 Derringer (derived from brand name)
1 Snubby (not found in dictionaries)
1 Tommy (derived from brand name, and not in any dictionaries
I checked)

"Snubby" is, of course, found in dictionaries, but not as a noun with
the indicated meaning. I rejected a claim that it should be accepted
anyway.

Obvious correct answers not given include pistol, automatic, and rifle.


Thank you all for playing, and Merry Christmas.
--
Mark Brader | And the customary practice seems to be "FIRST,
Toronto | let the cat out of the bag; THEN inform you
m...@vex.net | that there's a cat and a bag." --Daniel P.B. Smith

Kevin Stone

unread,
Dec 24, 2005, 5:32:37 AM12/24/05
to
Mark Brader wrote:

> This time there was a disappointing field of 29 entries

Let's have a little look...

>> 1. Name a country that, according to the current CIA World Factbook
>> <http://www.odci.gov/cia/publications/factbook/index.html>, is
>> divided into more than 35 states or provinces as defined in
>> rule 4.1.2.

> I thought I had to accept the UK as an answer.

Clearly, regardless of Wikipedia, the UK is divided into counties, which
serve the same role as states in the US. This time you've accepted it
though.


>> 3. Some organizations have names containing a two-word phrase
>> where one word specifies a color and the other a shape (either a
>> geometrical term or a term commonly used for a stylized shape).
>> Name a color/shape combination currently used in this way.

> 1 Blue Circle Transport


> 1 Blue stars ("stars" does not name a shape)
> 1 The Golden Triangle Organization

I agreed that you only asked for the colour and shape, but surely you've
crossed the line into pedantry here?

>> 5. Name a person who at the age of 50 was playing professionally
>> on a regular basis in some team sport in a league with a high
>> standard of competition. (Events limited to players over 40,
>> say, would not qualify as a high standard of competition.)

Such an obscure question, and some interesting decisions. Bridge not a sport
and lawn bowling is? Disallowing WC Grace, who was paid to play cricket.
NASCAR isn't a team sport either.


>> 6. Name a country some of whose de facto land territory is also
>> claimed by another country. Note that rule 4.1.1 applies
>> to both countries; this question is about border disputes,
>> not separatism.

> I decided that the wording "territory" rather than "territories"


> meant that dependencies of the claimed-against countries did not
> count, thus making the US and UK wrong.

"de facto land territory" includes all land which the country has decided it
owns. Therefore, you've changed the meaning of the sentence then disallowed
answers arbitrarily.

>> 8. Name a unit of measurement which has been routinely used to
>> express barometric pressure readings (of the atmosphere on
>> this planet) either to the general public or to meteorologists.

> 1 Atmosphere


> 1 Bar
> 1 Centimeter of mercury
> 1 Inch of water
> 1 Pascal

Surely if you've accepted they are in books, then clearly they have been
used to express the measurement to meteorologists?

>> 9. Give a single word used in English as a noun to designate
>> a type of gun (in the sense of a handheld firearm). "Type"
>> does not include brand names, numbers, or any forms derived
>> from these.

> 1 Derringer (derived from brand name)

Derived from the man's name, not a brand name, therefore should have been
accepted?

<end of question analysis>

As you can see, not only do you sometimes make it quite hard to actually
understand the questions, and then some of them are quite difficult to find
any answers (particularly if you're not in the US), you then disallow some
of them seemingly on a whim. This equally applies to previous contests.

I also know that traditionally you are incredibly strict on people reading
the question exactly, perhaps it's time to relax this just a little?

All in all you've disallowed answers for 20 of the 29 entrants - you don't
make it easy do you? Will you be surprised if there are only 9 entrants next
time?

--
Kev


Edmund Lewis

unread,
Dec 24, 2005, 6:48:58 AM12/24/05
to

Mark Brader wrote:
.)
> WRONG:
> 1 Armenia (Azerbaijan claim is against Nagorno-Karabakh, which
> is de facto independent)
> 1 Azerbaijan (Nagorno-Karabakh claims independence but is
> not recognized)
> 1 Brunei (claimant against Malaysia: Limbang)
> 1 Eritrea (claimant against Ethiopia: Badme)
> 1 Kashmir (asked for country, not disputed region)
> 1 Latvia (was claimant against Russia)
> 1 United Kingdom (all disputes involve its dependencies or
> maritime claims)
> 1 United States (claim by Marshall Is. is against dependency:
> Wake I.)
>
> I decided that the wording "territory" rather than "territories"
> meant that dependencies of the claimed-against countries did not
> count, thus making the US and UK wrong.

Surely the UK is correct due to the Irish Republic claiming sovereignty
over the *whole* of Ireland, including the north? (or do they not any
more?)

Edmund

Julie Waters

unread,
Dec 24, 2005, 7:17:37 AM12/24/05
to
Mark Brader rote:

> | 9. Give a single word used in English as a noun to designate
> | a type of gun (in the sense of a handheld firearm). "Type"
> | does not include brand names, numbers, or any forms derived
> | from these.
>[...]
> WRONG:

> 1 Snubby (not found in dictionaries)
>[...]
> "Snubby" is, of course, found in dictionaries, but not as a noun with
> the indicated meaning. I rejected a claim that it should be accepted
> anyway.

We, of course, argued over this :)

My point of view is that it is a word used in English as a noun to
designate a type of gun because there are all sorts of articles written
in English which use the term as a noun to designate a type of gun. The
only question is whether or not it fits Mark's definition of "word." It
does, not because the dictionary definition fits that particular
meaning, but because it's a word found in an English language
dictionary. But, given my early choice of "Heads" I doubt this would
make much difference.

--julie

P.S. Who else picked "pink triangle?" I figured I'd be the only one!

Erland Sommarskog

unread,
Dec 24, 2005, 8:57:25 AM12/24/05
to
Kevin Stone (newsa...@HotPOP.com) writes:
> All in all you've disallowed answers for 20 of the 29 entrants - you
> don't make it easy do you? Will you be surprised if there are only 9
> entrants next time?

I would be. After all, Mark's has for a long series of Rare Entries quizzes
managed to hold a high number of competitors, and few other who have run
similar quizzes have managed to matched that number.

Yes, some of Mark's rulings are difficult to agree with, but there is also
an element of risk in this competition: if you go to close to the edge,
you may fall off.

I didn't participate this time, but that was because there not really
any interesting questions, and several questions of which I had no idea
about any answer.


--
Erland Sommarskog, Stockholm, esq...@sommarskog.se

Julie Waters

unread,
Dec 24, 2005, 9:05:38 AM12/24/05
to
Erland Sommarskog wrote:
>>All in all you've disallowed answers for 20 of the 29 entrants - you
>>don't make it easy do you? Will you be surprised if there are only 9
>>entrants next time?
>
> I would be. After all, Mark's has for a long series of Rare Entries quizzes
> managed to hold a high number of competitors, and few other who have run
> similar quizzes have managed to matched that number.

I'll definitely do it the next time. The only time I ever don't
participate is when I forget and run out of time, but I love these
contests and though I argue with Mark, I think overall he's very fair
and reasonable, even if occasionally wrong :-).

The contests are challenging and interesting and push me to learn new
things. I like simpler rare entries contests as well, where it's -just-
about the psychology and you have easier choices, but even those can be
challenging. Who would have possibly predicted that heads would
outnumber tails over 3-1? Even the simple questions can be screwy :)

But I like the way Mark does them because they ask for information I'd
never think to consider for myself. They're very thoughtful and
intelligent contests.

--julie

Erland Sommarskog

unread,
Dec 24, 2005, 9:05:53 AM12/24/05
to
Mark Brader (m...@vex.net) writes:
> 1 Armenia (Azerbaijan claim is against Nagorno-Karabakh, which
> is de facto independent)
> 1 Azerbaijan (Nagorno-Karabakh claims independence but is
> not recognized)

Tricky one. Armenia does not formally claim sovereignity over N-K, but
that is more of tactical reasons. Its designs is certainly not that N-K
is to become an indepentent state just like any other, but eventually
become part of Armenia, which I would suppose it is already in practice.
(I would not expect too many border controls in the area, but I have
not been there.) For instance, the current president of Armenia, Robert
Kocharian, was once president over N-K. (And quitted that job to be
Prime Mininster in Armenia.)

Apart from that there is some group in Daghestan that has pretentions
to establish a Lezgian state in the south of Daghestan and north of
Azerbaijan. But since that is not a claim by a country, it does not
fit into the question.

Kevin Stone

unread,
Dec 24, 2005, 9:20:50 AM12/24/05
to
Julie Waters wrote:
> Erland Sommarskog wrote:
>>> All in all you've disallowed answers for 20 of the 29 entrants - you
>>> don't make it easy do you? Will you be surprised if there are only 9
>>> entrants next time?

> I'll definitely do it the next time.

I'll also be doing it. It was a little bit of a standing joke that I'd
failed to get 10 valid entries for almost all of the contests (as far as I
can remember, I've only suceeded once).

--
Kev


Duncan Booth

unread,
Dec 24, 2005, 10:21:00 AM12/24/05
to
Doesn't rule 2.2 apply here? I thought a blunderbuss was a specific type of
musket, a musket is a type of muzzleloader, a revolver is a more specific
handgun, and so on.

LDC

unread,
Dec 24, 2005, 10:42:26 AM12/24/05
to
On Sat, 24 Dec 2005 10:32:37 -0000, "Kevin Stone" <newsa...@HotPOP.com>
wrote:

>Such an obscure question, and some interesting decisions. Bridge not a sport
>and lawn bowling is? Disallowing WC Grace, who was paid to play cricket.
>NASCAR isn't a team sport either.

You might not consider NASCAR to be a sport which would have many good
arguements. However it is most definitely a team event. If you doubt
this, change the pit crew just before the race with qualified people but
those who have not worked together before. Do the same with the spotters.
Now observe how badly the driver does in the race.

Kevin Stone

unread,
Dec 24, 2005, 10:56:06 AM12/24/05
to
LDC wrote:
> On Sat, 24 Dec 2005 10:32:37 -0000, "Kevin Stone"
> <newsa...@HotPOP.com> wrote:
>
>> Such an obscure question, and some interesting decisions. Bridge not
>> a sport and lawn bowling is? Disallowing WC Grace, who was paid to
>> play cricket. NASCAR isn't a team sport either.
>
> You might not consider NASCAR to be a sport which would have many good
> arguements. However it is most definitely a team event.

This does depend on Mark's definition of team! I challenge you to get to the
South Pole on your own without a 'team'. But surely solo trekking to the
South Pole wouldn't usually be considered a team event?

:)

--
Kev


Gareth Owen

unread,
Dec 24, 2005, 10:58:07 AM12/24/05
to
"Kevin Stone" <newsa...@HotPOP.com> writes:

> I'll also be doing it.

I shan't. I haven't competed since he rejected an answer of mine,
basing his evidence on a provably incorrect news story. When I quoted
the actual rules of the event (the Euromillions lottery) to which the
question refered, he didn't even deign to respond.

I might enter a "Rare Entries Contest"
I've no interest in a "Guess Brader's Whims" competition.

Keith Willoughby

unread,
Dec 24, 2005, 10:53:06 AM12/24/05
to
m...@vex.net (Mark Brader) writes:

> I decided that Grace was an amateur even though he apparently earned
> more money from his cricketing than from his doctoring, because the
> amateur/professional distinction in English cricket was a big deal and
> it made sense to treat the terms as people would have done then.

I think this is one of those "if I call my cat a dog, it's still a cat"
answers. Grace was undoubtedly a professional cricketer, even if he was
a Gentleman and not a Player under the rules at the time. He got paid to
play, he wouldn't play if he didn't get paid, and made his main income
from cricket.

--
Keith Willoughby http://flat222.org/keith/
"How can you have a second Liz, when the first one's never been?"

Keith Willoughby

unread,
Dec 24, 2005, 10:54:01 AM12/24/05
to
"Edmund Lewis" <ejp...@hotmail.com> writes:

> Mark Brader wrote:
>> 1 United Kingdom (all disputes involve its dependencies or
>> maritime claims)

> Surely the UK is correct due to the Irish Republic claiming


> sovereignty over the *whole* of Ireland, including the north? (or do
> they not any more?)

I believe the claim has been removed from the Irish constitution.

--
Keith Willoughby http://flat222.org/keith/

"Often, they will even nick the essential crystal from their time machines, and
hide it"

Simon Chambers

unread,
Dec 24, 2005, 11:03:28 AM12/24/05
to
> >| 9. Give a single word used in English as a noun to designate
> >| a type of gun (in the sense of a handheld firearm). "Type"
> >| does not include brand names, numbers, or any forms derived
> >| from these.

> Doesn't rule 2.2 apply here? I thought a blunderbuss was a specific type


of
> musket, a musket is a type of muzzleloader, a revolver is a more specific
> handgun, and so on.

I think that as the question was "give a word" then the specifics rule does
not apply as the answer is the WORD and not the THING.


Gareth Owen

unread,
Dec 24, 2005, 11:05:24 AM12/24/05
to
"Edmund Lewis" <ejp...@hotmail.com> writes:

> Surely the UK is correct due to the Irish Republic claiming sovereignty
> over the *whole* of Ireland, including the north? (or do they not any
> more?)

They don't anymore. IIRC, an RoI referendum on such a Constitutional
Amendment was part of the Good Friday agreement, and was subsequently
passed. Now the constitution expresses a "firm will" toward a united
Ireland, but makes no territorial claims.

Jeffrey Turner

unread,
Dec 24, 2005, 11:21:30 AM12/24/05
to

All those for Lincoln, yet not one Garfield? Ach!

--Jeff

--
Intolerance of ambiguity is the mark
of an authoritarian personality.
-Theodor Adorno

Reinhold Burger

unread,
Dec 24, 2005, 12:02:27 PM12/24/05
to

On Sat, 24 Dec 2005, Mark Brader wrote:

> | 9. Give a single word used in English as a noun to designate
> | a type of gun (in the sense of a handheld firearm). "Type"
> | does not include brand names, numbers, or any forms derived
> | from these.
>

[...]

> Obvious correct answers not given include pistol, automatic, and rifle.

^^^^^

"Rifle" is obvious?

I didn't enter the contest, but when I read "handheld firearm", I picture
one that can normally be used with only one hand. Holding and firing a
rifle with one hand sounds like something for the movies.

Reinhold

swp

unread,
Dec 24, 2005, 12:57:25 PM12/24/05
to
Or Mashall Matt Dillon on Gunsmoke...

swp

unread,
Dec 24, 2005, 1:22:30 PM12/24/05
to

I agree with Kevin Stone's argument about Q8 and the use of textbooks
to convey the answers marked wrong to other meteorologists.

On Q9, the wikipedia article I used as proof,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannon, specifically states:
In slang usage, the term "cannon" refers to any
of the class of handguns with a large bore, especially
those with a caliber over 0.357". This subclass of the
pistol group includes the .357 magnum, considered
by most to be the smallest of this group of weapons,
as well as the Sig-Sauer P220, the Pasadena
Corporation's .44 Automag, and 44/.40 caliber Colt
model P1976 revolver. The term "hand-cannon" is
less well known but also used.

Which is why I think it is a valid answer. I would appreciate support
from others on this point, as I am certain

As for the chastising ... I sent the original slate of answers using MS
Outlook in "text only" mode and Mark made no comment on it. I sent
others in response to his queries using the HTML mode, which is not a
chastisable offense. So please take me off it, I don't want to end up
on Santa's naughty list because of this! :-)

Merry Christmas!

swp

Kevin Stone

unread,
Dec 24, 2005, 1:26:45 PM12/24/05
to
swp wrote:

>>> 9. Give a single word used in English as a noun to designate
>>> a type of gun


>> WRONG:


>> 1 Cannon (not a type)

> On Q9, the wikipedia article I used as proof,
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannon, specifically states:

> "cannon" refers to any of the class of handguns

I agree (but I don't think that my agreement will carry much weight).

--
Kev


swp

unread,
Dec 24, 2005, 1:27:40 PM12/24/05
to
as I am certain that I am not the only person who owns one or uses that
term in this context.

And I would like to note that Mark is from Toronto, Canada. Not the
US. I'll forgo giving the link to his picture in return for some mercy
and lenience on these Qs.

LDC

unread,
Dec 24, 2005, 5:23:58 PM12/24/05
to
On Sat, 24 Dec 2005 15:56:06 -0000, "Kevin Stone" <newsa...@HotPOP.com>
wrote:

>> You might not consider NASCAR to be a sport which would have many good


>> arguements. However it is most definitely a team event.
>
>This does depend on Mark's definition of team! I challenge you to get to the
>South Pole on your own without a 'team'. But surely solo trekking to the
>South Pole wouldn't usually be considered a team event?

Obviously Mark's definition will prevail for the scope of his quiz. I'm
not sure what going to the South Pole alone has to do with NASCAR, but I
have never heard of Sir Hillary's conquest of Mt. Everest refered to as
anything but a team effort.

Kevin Stone

unread,
Dec 24, 2005, 5:54:31 PM12/24/05
to
LDC wrote:
> On Sat, 24 Dec 2005 15:56:06 -0000, "Kevin Stone"
> <newsa...@HotPOP.com> wrote:
>
>>> You might not consider NASCAR to be a sport which would have many
>>> good arguements. However it is most definitely a team event.

A 'team' event is one in which one teams competes against the other on the
'field'. Football, hockey, etc.

--
Kev


Erland Sommarskog

unread,
Dec 24, 2005, 6:31:30 PM12/24/05
to

I don't know about NASCAR, but in Formula One, there are two competitions
through the year. One for the drivers, and once for the teams.

LDC

unread,
Dec 24, 2005, 7:21:03 PM12/24/05
to
On Sat, 24 Dec 2005 22:54:31 -0000, "Kevin Stone" <newsa...@HotPOP.com>
wrote:

>LDC wrote:
>> On Sat, 24 Dec 2005 15:56:06 -0000, "Kevin Stone"
>> <newsa...@HotPOP.com> wrote:
>>
>>>> You might not consider NASCAR to be a sport which would have many
>>>> good arguements. However it is most definitely a team event.
>
>A 'team' event is one in which one teams competes against the other on the
>'field'. Football, hockey, etc.

Kevin, you have obviously never watched a NASCAR event. The pit crew
participates in the event while the event is in progress. There pit crew
is covered by the NASCAR rules and they are most definitely competing
against each other. This is most obvious when there is a yellow flag and
all the drivers come in at the same time. There is no direct physical
contact between the contestants but it is as much a team competion as
bowling, archery, rifle, bobsleding, rowing, etc. NASCAR meets your
definition as the pits are part of the event or "field."

It is definitely a team event; I'm not sure it is a sporting event.

Kevin Stone

unread,
Dec 24, 2005, 7:28:04 PM12/24/05
to
LDC wrote:

> Kevin, you have obviously never watched a NASCAR event.

This is indeed true and I can't deny there is a support team.

But, we're trying to second-guess Mark's interpretation and I quote him
here:

"I decided that while car racing is not really a team sport"

Therefore, I was presuming that he was referring to a game in which members
of teams directly compete in the playing arena and not the crew required to
support the said team.

If we were to make this a common entries contest instead and to simply name
a team sport I would be surprised if any form of motor sport made it into
the top 10 (but of course, I have been surprised on many occasions).

--
Kev

Adrian Bailey

unread,
Dec 24, 2005, 8:11:48 PM12/24/05
to

"Reinhold Burger" <rfbu...@cs.uwaterloo.ca> wrote in message
news:Pine.GSO.4.64.05...@fe02.math.uwaterloo.ca...

>
> On Sat, 24 Dec 2005, Mark Brader wrote:
>
> > | 9. Give a single word used in English as a noun to designate
> > | a type of gun (in the sense of a handheld firearm). "Type"
> > | does not include brand names, numbers, or any forms derived
> > | from these.
> >
>
> [...]
>
> > Obvious correct answers not given include pistol, automatic, and rifle.
> ^^^^^
>
> "Rifle" is obvious?
>
> I didn't enter the contest, but when I read "handheld firearm", I picture
> one that can normally be used with only one hand.

You misunderstand the word "handheld".

Adrian


Adrian Bailey

unread,
Dec 24, 2005, 8:17:49 PM12/24/05
to
"Kevin Stone" <newsa...@HotPOP.com> wrote in message
news:414mddF...@individual.net...
> Mark Brader wrote:
> >> 1. Name a country that, according to the current CIA World Factbook
> >> <http://www.odci.gov/cia/publications/factbook/index.html>, is
> >> divided into more than 35 states or provinces as defined in
> >> rule 4.1.2.
>
> > I thought I had to accept the UK as an answer.
>
> Clearly, regardless of Wikipedia, the UK is divided into counties, which
> serve the same role as states in the US. This time you've accepted it
> though.

The roles of British counties and the states of the Union are far from
identical.

Adrian


Ted Schuerzinger

unread,
Dec 24, 2005, 10:29:22 PM12/24/05
to
Somebody claiming to be m...@vex.net (Mark Brader) wrote in
news:11qq5h2...@corp.supernews.com:

>| 5. Name a person who at the age of 50 was playing professionally
>| on a regular basis in some team sport in a league with a high
>| standard of competition. (Events limited to players over 40,
>| say, would not qualify as a high standard of competition.)
>
> 7 Gordie Howe (1978, WHA hockey, New England Whalers)
> 3 Leroy "Satchel" Paige (1956, IL baseball, Miami Marlins)
> 2 Bert Ironmonger (1932, Australian/international cricket)
> 1 Briggs Cunningham (1957, various car racing, own team)
> 1 Frank Woolley (1937, English cricket)
> 1 Jay Haas (2004, Ryder Cup golf)
> 1 Joe "Jellybean" Bryant (2005, ABA basketball, Boston Frenzy)
> 1 Manny Burgsmuller (2000, NFL Europe football, Rhein Fire)
> 1 Mary-Anne Canute (2001, Australian lawn bowling)
> 1 Morgan Shepherd (1992, NASCAR car racing, Victory in Jesus)
> 1 Sam Snead (1962, Canada Cup golf, US team)
> 1 Saturnino "Minnie" Miñoso (1973, Mexican League baseball)
> 1 Willie Quaife (1922, English cricket)
> WRONG:
> 3 W.G. Grace (1898, English/international cricket) (not
> professional)
> 1 (no answer)
> 1 Gordon Wallace (1994, Scottish soccer, Dundee United) (not
> on regular basis)
> 1 Oswald Jacoby (1953, bridge) (not a sport)
> 1 Sócrates de Oliveira (2004, NCEL soccer) (not high standard)
>
> I hate sports questions.
>
> I decided that "a high standard" in the context of North American
> sports included major leagues and those one step down, like AAA minor
> league baseball; and I tried to use analogous rulings for other sports.
> I'm not sure about the standard of play in the (new) ABA, but I gave
> the entrant the benefit of the doubt.

And I would have doubted that the Ryder Cup is a league: I think you'd
have to have more than two teams, playing each other in a round robin (or
some other multi-game format) for it to be a league.

Of course, I could barely find any right answers on this question. I did
lots of Google searches on "50-year-old" +[insert name of sport] +player,
and got Gordie Howe, some obscure Tasmanian rugby player, and two
(association) football players: Socrates (whom I picked even though I
figured Mark would rule it wrong) and a Sir Stanley Mathews, who wasn't
picked at all. Go figure. (I figured Mathews would be crashed on because
he was in the English Football League.)

--
Ted <fedya at bestweb dot net>
Oh Marge, anyone can miss Canada, all tucked away down there....
--Homer Simpson

LDC

unread,
Dec 25, 2005, 1:32:54 AM12/25/05
to
On Sun, 25 Dec 2005 00:28:04 -0000, "Kevin Stone" <newsa...@HotPOP.com>
wrote:

>If we were to make this a common entries contest instead and to simply name

>a team sport I would be surprised if any form of motor sport made it into
>the top 10 (but of course, I have been surprised on many occasions).

Which is precisely the reason it would be a good answer here.

Kevin Stone

unread,
Dec 25, 2005, 4:38:59 AM12/25/05
to
Adrian Bailey wrote:

>>> Name a country that is divided into more than 35 states or provinces

>> Clearly, regardless of Wikipedia, the UK is divided into counties,
>> which serve the same role as states in the US. This time you've
>> accepted it though.
>
> The roles of British counties and the states of the Union are far from
> identical.

I'd appreciate you highlighting the differences which make the UK (and its
counties) an incorrect answer to the question.

--
Kev


Tim S Roberts

unread,
Dec 25, 2005, 7:08:40 AM12/25/05
to

"Kevin Stone" <newsa...@HotPOP.com> wrote in message
news:414mddF...@individual.net...
> Mark Brader wrote:
>
>> This time there was a disappointing field of 29 entries

I'm not sure why, but Mark's posting containing the results has not made it
through to my newsreader, on either rec.puzzles or rec.games.trivia, and nor
have I received any email. Could the results be posted again, please, or
someone post a URL where they can be viewed?

Tim


George Weinberg

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Dec 25, 2005, 12:31:20 PM12/25/05
to
On Sun, 25 Dec 2005 01:17:49 GMT, "Adrian Bailey" <da...@hotmail.com>
wrote:

We have counties here also.

Obtrivia: name an American city that is not part of any county,
although it's in a state that has counties.

George

Adrian Bailey

unread,
Dec 25, 2005, 4:46:03 PM12/25/05
to
"Kevin Stone" <newsa...@HotPOP.com> wrote in message
news:4177icF...@individual.net...

(Happy Christmas, sorry I haven't had a chance to catch up with you yet.)

Don't know why you're asking me. I was just making the point that you made a
false statement. This type of Rare Entries question is always difficult to
judge since countries have such widely differing forms of subgovernment.

Cheers, Adrian


Adrian Bailey

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Dec 25, 2005, 4:48:19 PM12/25/05
to

"Tim S Roberts" <t.ro...@cqu.edu.au> wrote in message
news:43ae8bcb$1...@dnews.tpgi.com.au...

http://groups.google.co.uk/group/rec.puzzles/msg/ab9b6def7c6d475c

Adrian


Erland Sommarskog

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Dec 25, 2005, 6:09:06 PM12/25/05
to
Adrian Bailey (da...@hotmail.com) writes:
> Don't know why you're asking me. I was just making the point that you
> made a false statement. This type of Rare Entries question is always
> difficult to judge since countries have such widely differing forms of
> subgovernment.

Yes, another example is Russia which indeed is a federation of 89 entities.
(According Mark. There has been one or two merges recently.) But some
years ago, Putin created seven regions, which thus sits on top of the
89 republics/krais/oblasts(okrugs.

Then again, Mark did explicitly mention the CIA World Factbook as the
ultimate source.

Ted Schuerzinger

unread,
Dec 25, 2005, 8:53:23 PM12/25/05
to
Somebody claiming to be George Weinberg <eorgew...@sbcglobal.net>
wrote in news:ptltq152djovvj00k...@4ax.com:

> Obtrivia: name an American city that is not part of any county,
> although it's in a state that has counties.
>

There are a bunch of such cities in Virginia, which has not only counties,
but independent cities. Most of the main Virginia cities (eg. Richmond,
Roanake etc.) are independent cities.

I believe Baltimore, MD, is also a separate political entity from the
various counties in Maryland.

Joe Strickland

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Dec 25, 2005, 11:31:03 PM12/25/05
to

Kevin Stone wrote:
> LDC wrote:
>
>
>>Kevin, you have obviously never watched a NASCAR event.
>
>
> This is indeed true and I can't deny there is a support team.
>
> But, we're trying to second-guess Mark's interpretation and I quote him
> here:
>
> "I decided that while car racing is not really a team sport"
>
> Therefore, I was presuming that he was referring to a game in which members
> of teams directly compete in the playing arena and not the crew required to
> support the said team.

Before I gave the NASCAR answer, I checked out nascar.com, their
website. Under the "Drivers" tab there is a list of "Teams" which
include multiple car and driver combinations. Apparently there is a lot
of strategy associated with having more than one driver from the same
team racing at the same time. Sort of like team Postal in the Tour de
France with all those riders but Lance Armstrong getting credit for the
win.

With associated websites as evidence, I was fairly sure that
motorsports, at least NASCAR and Formula 1, would count as professional
team events with a league. Something I was not sure about was whether a
driver in a motorsport or any other member of a racing team could be
considered to be "playing" at their sport. I've never seen racing, or
crewing or spotting referred to as "playing" so even though the
dictionary definition seems to allow it, I was not at all sure that Mark
would.

As all have said, Mark Brader is known for giving sometimes arbitrary
rulings and you take a risk when you give an answer on the edge. I,
too, have been lurking his contests for some time after being miffed at
the ruling on the 600-year monarchy question. Still, I've gotten over
it and come back because Mark is one of the more prolific quizzers to
haunt these newsgroups. He is, by far, the best game in town at this
sort of thing. You just have to grit your teeth now and again.

>
> If we were to make this a common entries contest instead and to simply name
> a team sport I would be surprised if any form of motor sport made it into
> the top 10 (but of course, I have been surprised on many occasions).
>

I wouldn't. The kind of people who enter this contest would realize
that many race leagues involve teams including cigarette boats,
motorcycles with sidecars, rally, Baja-style off-road races and the
24-hour+ endurance races.


Joe Strickland

Mark Brader

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Dec 26, 2005, 3:36:59 AM12/26/05
to
Gareth Owen writes:
> I haven't competed since he rejected an answer of mine,
> basing his evidence on a provably incorrect news story. When I quoted
> the actual rules of the event (the Euromillions lottery) to which the
> question refered, he didn't even deign to respond.

Gareth may be right; I don't have records of what email I sent or
didn't send back then. I remember the disagreement, and I remember
thinking that the rules he cited didn't prove his position that the
news report was wrong; but I don't now remember why exactly why I
thought that, or what I said about it. If I was impolite or failed
to give proper consideration to Gareth's evidence, then I apologize.

Anyone is, of course, welcome to not compete if they don't like
the way I run the contests.
--
Mark Brader, Toronto "These Millennia are like buses."
m...@vex.net --Arwel Parry

My text in this article is in the public domain.

Mark Brader

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Dec 26, 2005, 3:49:58 AM12/26/05
to
Kevin Stone:

> But, we're trying to second-guess Mark's interpretation

...before I show up and explain it myself...

> and I quote him here:
>
> "I decided that while car racing is not really a team sport"
>
> Therefore, I was presuming that he was referring to a game in which
> members of teams directly compete in the playing arena and not the
> crew required to support the said team.

Right. My position is that car racing is an individual sport in
which the drivers compete; the fact that they have assistants is
secondary. However, it is one of several individual sports where
the competitors are grouped into teams for scoring purposes (Ryder
Cup golf is another example).

While I don't consider that this makes a sport a team sport,
others might, and I think it's a legitimate position. Therefore
I had to accept these answers, since I did not define my terms
in the question.
--
Mark Brader, Toronto | Bad news disturbs his game; so does good; so
m...@vex.net | also does the absence of news. --Stephen Leacock

Mark Brader

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Dec 26, 2005, 4:01:38 AM12/26/05
to
George Weinberg:

> > Obtrivia: name an American city that is not part of any county,
> > although it's in a state that has counties.

Ted Schuerzinger:


> There are a bunch of such cities in Virginia, which has not only counties,
> but independent cities. Most of the main Virginia cities (eg. Richmond,
> Roanake etc.) are independent cities.

All cities in Virginia (there are about 40) are independent cities.



> I believe Baltimore, MD, is also a separate political entity from the
> various counties in Maryland.

According to Wikipedia that's correct and there are two others:
St. Louis and Carson City.
--
Mark Brader "If Benjamin Franklin was alive today, he'd be
Toronto arrested for sailing a kite without a license."
m...@vex.net -- Tucker: The Man and his Dream

Mark Brader

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Dec 26, 2005, 4:13:48 AM12/26/05
to
Mark Brader:
> > 1 Armenia (Azerbaijan claim is against Nagorno-Karabakh, which
> > is de facto independent)
> > 1 Azerbaijan (Nagorno-Karabakh claims independence but is
> > not recognized)

Erland Sommarskog:
> Tricky one. Armenia does not formally claim sovereignity over N-K, but
> that is more of tactical reasons. Its designs is certainly not that N-K
> is to become an indepentent state just like any other, but eventually
> become part of Armenia,

I daresay.

> which I would suppose it is already in practice.

I didn't make up the "de facto independent" statement, but I can see
there's a case for Armenia being in control. However, if it is, then
I think N-K is a dependency (I don't believe there are representatives
from N-K in the Armenian government, for instance), not part of Armenia.
--
Mark Brader | "Strong typing isn't for weak minds; the argument
Toronto | 'strong typing is for weak minds' is for weak minds."
m...@vex.net | -- Guy Harris

Mark Brader

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Dec 26, 2005, 4:21:10 AM12/26/05
to
Mark Brader:
> > I decided that Grace was an amateur even though he apparently earned
> > more money from his cricketing than from his doctoring, because the
> > amateur/professional distinction in English cricket was a big deal and
> > it made sense to treat the terms as people would have done then.

Keith Willoughby:
> I think this is one of those "if I call my cat a dog, it's still a cat"
> answers.

There is certainly a case for that view.

> Grace was undoubtedly a professional cricketer, even if he was
> a Gentleman and not a Player under the rules at the time. He got
> paid to play, he wouldn't play if he didn't get paid...

If this is correct, then I probably should have accepted him as
professional. The web sites I looked at did not make such statements.

> and made his main income from cricket.

Red herring. The amount of money he earned from non-cricket activities
is irrelevant to whether his cricketing was professional.
--
Mark Brader "I always hoped that when someone quoted me
Toronto it would be because I said something profound."
m...@vex.net -- Chris Volpe

Mark Brader

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Dec 26, 2005, 4:44:18 AM12/26/05
to
Mark Brader:

> >| 9. Give a single word used in English as a noun to designate
> >| a type of gun (in the sense of a handheld firearm). "Type"
> >| does not include brand names, numbers, or any forms derived
> >| from these.
...
> > WRONG:
...

> > 1 Cannon (not a type)

Steve Perry:


> On Q9, the wikipedia article I used as proof,
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannon, specifically states:
> In slang usage, the term "cannon" refers to any
> of the class of handguns with a large bore, especially
> those with a caliber over 0.357". This subclass of the

> pistol group includes ...

> Which is why I think it is a valid answer.

When I asked for a cite, Steve first said he'd meant to cite a page
at http://www.urbandictionary.com, then when I pointed out that it
did not support his position, he produced the above cite, and apparently
I inadvertently deleted that message of his without replying to it.

I see that the relevant parts of both the urbandictionary.com page
and the wikipedia.org page have both changed in recent weeks,
suggesting that their contributors cannot agree on the meaning
of the terms, and therefore that they cannot be regarded as
sufficiently authoritative.

> As for the chastising ... I sent the original slate of answers using MS
> Outlook in "text only" mode

Funny how it arrived as a MIME multipart message in plain text and
HTML, then.

> and Mark made no comment on it.

My comment was the inclusion in the chastisement list.

> I sent others in response to his queries using the HTML mode, which
> is not a chastisable offense.

No, but it is quite annoying.

> So please take me off it, I don't want to end up
> on Santa's naughty list because of this! :-)

Hmmm. Have you read rec.humor.funny recently?
--
Mark Brader | "...Backwards Compatibility, which, if you've made as
m...@vex.net | many mistakes as Intel and Microsoft have in the past,
Toronto | can be very Backwards indeed." -- Steve Summit

Mark Brader

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Dec 26, 2005, 4:54:54 AM12/26/05
to
Mark Brader:

>>> 1. Name a country that, according to the current CIA World Factbook
>>> <http://www.odci.gov/cia/publications/factbook/index.html>, is
>>> divided into more than 35 states or provinces as defined in
>>> rule 4.1.2.

>> I thought I had to accept the UK as an answer.

Kevin Stone:
> Clearly, regardless of Wikipedia,

I don't know why Kevin is mentioning Wikipedia.

> the UK is divided into counties,

The UK is not divided into counties; the UK is divided into England,
Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, which *in turn* are divided
into counties, cities, boroughs, and several other types of entity
at that level. And rule 4.1.2 clearly indicates that the first level
of division into subsidiary political entities is what counts.

If Kevin doesn't think Scotland is a political entity, I invite him
to take it up with Sean Connery. :-)

> which serve the same role as states in the US.

Both wrong and irrelevant. We're just looking at the existence of
political subdivisions, not what role they play.

> This time you've accepted it though.

I had to, because I specified in the question that the CIA World
Factbook was the definitive reference and it does list the counties
and other subdivisions, as if England, Scotland, etc. were mere
geographical groupings.
--
Mark Brader, Toronto "I seem to have become a signature quote."
m...@vex.net -- David Keldsen

Mark Brader

unread,
Dec 26, 2005, 4:58:17 AM12/26/05
to
Mark Brader
>>> 3. Some organizations have names containing a two-word phrase
>>> where one word specifies a color and the other a shape (either a
>>> geometrical term or a term commonly used for a stylized shape).
>>> Name a color/shape combination currently used in this way.

>> 1 Blue Circle Transport
>> 1 Blue stars ("stars" does not name a shape)
>> 1 The Golden Triangle Organization

Kevin Stone:
> I agreed that you only asked for the colour and shape, but surely you've
> crossed the line into pedantry here?

My view is that if I start accepting this sort of answer, I penalize the
majority of entrants who actually answer the question that was asked.
There is an explicit warning in the rule 3.1: "if you give an answer that
properly refers to a different thing related to the one you intended,
I will normally take it as written."
--
Mark Brader, Toronto "I'm not a lawyer, but I'm pedantic and
m...@vex.net that's just as good." -- D Gary Grady

Mark Brader

unread,
Dec 26, 2005, 5:03:36 AM12/26/05
to
Mark Brader:
>>> 6. Name a country some of whose de facto land territory is also
>>> claimed by another country. Note that rule 4.1.1 applies
>>> to both countries; this question is about border disputes,
>>> not separatism.
>
>> I decided that the wording "territory" rather than "territories"
>> meant that dependencies of the claimed-against countries did not
>> count, thus making the US and UK wrong.

Kevin Stone:
> "de facto land territory" includes all land which the country has
> decided it owns.

What I should have cited in support of the ruling was Rule 4.1:
"For purposes of these contests, the Earth is considered to be
divided into disjoint areas each of which is either (1) a country,
(2) a dependency, or (3) without national government." This means
that dependencies are not part of a country.

Still, I should have realized early in the contest period that the
question was capable of being misinterpreted by a careful reader,
and posted a clarification.
--
Mark Brader, Toronto | "My ambition is to see a saying of mine attributed
m...@vex.net | to Dorothy Parker or Mark Twain." -- Joe Fineman

Erland Sommarskog

unread,
Dec 26, 2005, 5:21:52 AM12/26/05
to
Mark Brader (m...@vex.net) writes:
> I didn't make up the "de facto independent" statement, but I can see
> there's a case for Armenia being in control. However, if it is, then
> I think N-K is a dependency (I don't believe there are representatives
> from N-K in the Armenian government, for instance), not part of Armenia.

Hehe. Now, you fly over to Yerevan, or even better Stepanakert and say
the same thing, and see what happens. :-)

I'm not really contesting the ruling, because these are very muddy waters.

Another case that I thought of was Argentina and Chile. It seemed to me
somewhat funny that you included their Antartican claims, as those
parts rather would be dependencies, seen from the outside. Of corse,
down there, they may not agree. The southernmost province of Argentina
is named Tierra del Fuego, Antarida y las islas del Atlantico Sur.

Anyway, this may not matter, as at least they used to have claims on
each other in the Andes, and in the islands south of Tierra del Fuego
and Isla Navarino.

And furthermore, does Bolivia have a claim on Chile or not? I don't know
if they formally have, but mentally they certainly still want that strip
of coast back.

Nick Atty

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Dec 26, 2005, 6:38:28 AM12/26/05
to

As a UKite I'd say it's wrong. Had I got round to entering (the
pressure of the coming Christmas got in the way) I would never have
considered the UK a valid answer.

Firstly, there is the question of what a UK county actually is. There
were the "historic counties" (although these were never set in stone -
over the 18/19/early 20C there was a lot of adjustment and the merging
in of many isolated "islands" in neighbouring counties (the way
Flint(shire) remained to the end)). Then there was the 1970s
reorganisation that created abominations like "Greater Manchester" and
"Merseyside" (how can your have a county based around both sides of a
"boundary river"?). Then there is the current set up with a mix of old
and new counties, and "unitary authorities" and heaven knows what else.

The key difference between the UK and US is that UK counties have (to
the best of my knowledge - prove me wrong please) neither tax raising
nor law making abilities. That's a pretty big difference.

I pay tax to the Government (income tax, national insurance, VAT etc).
I pay tax to the town (Council tax). Some of both of these goes to the
country - but I pay none directly to them.

I am bound by the laws and regulations of the english part of the UK
(which are not quite the same as the regulations of the Welsh and NIrish
parts and quite different from the laws of the Scottish part). I am to
a (vastly) lesser extend bound by the bylaws of the town (things like
not beating my carpets in the parks on Sunday, that sort of thing). If
I want to extend my house the parish council have a view, the town
council has can rule, and I can appeal to the Secretary of State to
overturn their ruling. The county figures nowhere in this.

--
On-line canal route planner: http://www.canalplan.org.uk

(Waterways World site of the month, April 2001)

Julie Waters

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Dec 26, 2005, 8:50:32 AM12/26/05
to
Mark Brader wrote:
> Anyone is, of course, welcome to not compete if they don't like
> the way I run the contests.

I'm not sure how you could run the contests in a way which requires
people to compete :)

--julie

Julie Waters

unread,
Dec 26, 2005, 9:00:39 AM12/26/05
to
Nick Atty wrote:
> The key difference between the UK and US is that UK counties have (to
> the best of my knowledge - prove me wrong please) neither tax raising
> nor law making abilities. That's a pretty big difference.
>
> I pay tax to the Government (income tax, national insurance, VAT etc).
> I pay tax to the town (Council tax). Some of both of these goes to the
> country - but I pay none directly to them.

I'm not sure about how it works in other states, but your counties sound
like Vermont counties; we pay tax to the State of Vermont and the
Federal Government, but we do not pay to, for example, Chittenden
County. We do, if we are property owners, pay tax to our local towns as
well. The counties here seem to be divided primarily for historical
reasons, but have become the way that state government breaks up many
items as well.

We also have townships, which are different from cities, which makes
everything -quite- confusing. You can live, for example, in Bellows
Falls, VT, but that's not the town. Bellows Falls is part of the Town of
Rockingham, which is, I think, in Windham County, which is one of the
county divisions in the State of Vermont.

If I didn't have to understand some of this for my work, I would
probably ignore most of it completely :)

--julie

humunculus

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Dec 26, 2005, 9:11:50 AM12/26/05
to
Yes, but if your original question had said "consisting of" instead of
"containing", you'd have a more clear-cut case. All three of the
rejected answers (the first and last, especially) meet the specific
requirements of your question, AISI.

--humunculus

Richard Schultz

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Dec 26, 2005, 9:39:43 AM12/26/05
to
In rec.games.trivia Mark Brader <m...@vex.net> wrote:

: Anyone is, of course, welcome to not compete if they don't like


: the way I run the contests.

Yes, but if enough people choose not to compete because they don't like
the way you run the contests, then the contests will become rather
pointless. ("This month's contest has a joint winner -- both entrants
got a score of 1")

-----
Richard Schultz sch...@mail.biu.ac.il
Department of Chemistry, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan, Israel
Opinions expressed are mine alone, and not those of Bar-Ilan University
-----
"Logic is a wreath of pretty flowers which smell bad."

Keith Willoughby

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Dec 26, 2005, 12:14:23 PM12/26/05
to
m...@vex.net (Mark Brader) writes:

> Mark Brader:
>> > I decided that Grace was an amateur even though he apparently earned
>> > more money from his cricketing than from his doctoring, because the
>> > amateur/professional distinction in English cricket was a big deal and
>> > it made sense to treat the terms as people would have done then.
>
> Keith Willoughby:
>> I think this is one of those "if I call my cat a dog, it's still a cat"
>> answers.
>
> There is certainly a case for that view.
>
>> Grace was undoubtedly a professional cricketer, even if he was
>> a Gentleman and not a Player under the rules at the time. He got
>> paid to play, he wouldn't play if he didn't get paid...
>
> If this is correct, then I probably should have accepted him as
> professional. The web sites I looked at did not make such statements.

I'm pretty sure I got this from the BBC's Mark Steel Lecture on WG
Grace, which isn't exactly definitive (he's a comedian, not a
historian).

>> and made his main income from cricket.
>
> Red herring. The amount of money he earned from non-cricket activities
> is irrelevant to whether his cricketing was professional.

Well, in the case of gambling in the US, for example, it makes all the
difference. You can be a winning gambler but not be a "professional
gambler" in the eyes of the IRS, if gambling is not your main source of
income. (Of course, the IRS have a vested interested in not allowing
winning gamblers to declare as professional; then they get to claims
losses as deductions)

--
Keith Willoughby http://flat222.org/keith/
"Wrecked, solitary, here."

Josh Button

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Dec 26, 2005, 12:50:34 PM12/26/05
to
"Kevin Stone" <newsa...@HotPOP.com> wrote in message
news:414mddF...@individual.net...
>>> 5. Name a person who at the age of 50 was playing professionally
>>> on a regular basis in some team sport in a league with a high
>>> standard of competition. (Events limited to players over 40,
>>> say, would not qualify as a high standard of competition.)
>
> Such an obscure question, and some interesting decisions. Bridge not a
> sport and lawn bowling is? Disallowing WC Grace, who was paid to play
> cricket. NASCAR isn't a team sport either.
>
Yes lawn bowling is. And it's played at a very high level in many, mainly
Commonwealth countries.
--
Josh Button
To see how the Penrith Gaels Cricket Club is going...
http://penrithgaelscc.4t.com


Mark Brader

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Dec 26, 2005, 12:51:43 PM12/26/05
to
I (Mark Brader) wrote:
>>>> 3. Some organizations have names containing a two-word phrase
>>>> where one word specifies a color and the other a shape (either a
>>>> geometrical term or a term commonly used for a stylized shape).
>>>> Name a color/shape combination currently used in this way.

>>> WRONG:

>>> 1 Blue Circle Transport
>>> 1 Blue stars ("stars" does not name a shape)
>>> 1 The Golden Triangle Organization

>> My view is that if I start accepting this sort of answer, I penalize the
>> majority of entrants who actually answer the question that was asked.
>> There is an explicit warning in the rule 3.1 ...

Myron Buck (failing to quote properly) writes:
> Yes, but if your original question had said "consisting of" instead of
> "containing", you'd have a more clear-cut case.

"Name a color/shape combination" is clear enough.
--
Mark Brader "How can we believe that?"
Toronto "Because this time it's true!"
m...@vex.net -- Lynn & Jay: YES, PRIME MINISTER

Simon Chambers

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Dec 26, 2005, 4:33:30 PM12/26/05
to
> figured Mark would rule it wrong) and a Sir Stanley Mathews, who wasn't
> picked at all. Go figure. (I figured Mathews would be crashed on because
> he was in the English Football League.)

What the hell for???

The English league is one of the top leagues in the world. At the time
Matthews was playing probably even more so than now!


Simon Chambers

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Dec 26, 2005, 7:05:36 PM12/26/05
to
> The UK is not divided into counties; the UK is divided into England,
> Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, which *in turn* are divided
> into counties, cities, boroughs, and several other types of entity
> at that level. And rule 4.1.2 clearly indicates that the first level
> of division into subsidiary political entities is what counts.
>
> If Kevin doesn't think Scotland is a political entity, I invite him
> to take it up with Sean Connery. :-)

Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have their own parliaments so are the
first level of division (of the UK) into subsidiary political entities, but
England does not.

In England the first sub-division of *political* entity is the counties etc.

England is (at the moment) merely a geographic grouping.

Simon


LDC

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Dec 26, 2005, 8:51:27 PM12/26/05